March 2018

Get Involved! Join a New Lawyer Forum Subcommittee

By New Lawyer Forum Executive Committee

This year, the New Lawyer Forum (NLF) will operate five subcommittees to help us accomplish our goals. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the SDCBA, give back to the community, and grow your network. To apply, please follow the instructions at the end of this article.  


Subcommittee Chair: Ashley Rae Rawlins (

The NLF coordinates many events and constantly expands professional networking opportunities. The goal of these events is to engage members, facilitate relationships and establish support systems. Teaming up with professional groups and social networks, the NLF provides its members with a wide array of experiences throughout the community. The Networking Subcommittee coordinates networking events, activities and works with NLF's Membership Management Subcommittee to ensure members are mobilized and engaged before, during, and after events.

Our main goals for this year are to increase our audience and interaction on the New Lawyers Forum Facebook page by engaging attorneys and law students with articles, events, and local happenings that are of interest.

We plan to host numerous events throughout the year and have big plans to offer a wide range of networking opportunities from happy hours, to casual meet-ups, trivia groups, mentorship opportunities and active exercise events. The biggest event of the year will be our Signature Event and we are setting the bar high to continue the momentum that we achieved last year from this event and really want to have something special this year.

Membership Management

Subcommittee Chair: Monica Willian (

The primary responsibility of the Membership Management Subcommittee is to ensure new lawyers have meaningful opportunities to integrate with the San Diego County Bar Association. Membership Management works with other NLF subcommittees and groups to develop ideas and strategies for cultivating membership engagement, and attends events and activities to welcome new people and facilitate interaction. The Subcommittee is also responsible for developing new and creative ways online and offline to engage members, integrate SDCBA mentorship programs into NLF activities, and work with the SDCBA Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) to increase new lawyer involvement.

Community Leadership

Subcommittee Chair: Mellania Safarian (

The Community Leadership Subcommittee is responsible for developing a strategy to solicit online and offline feedback from NLF members on ways the SDCBA and Executive Committee can provide support to enhance their personal and professional development. This includes organizing polls, gathering data, conducting surveys, and soliciting opinions from members, including the New Lawyer Section Reps of the various SDCBA Sections. The Chair will use information from these interactions to develop insight about whether NLF members’ needs are being met and/or generate a recommendation for improvement.

It is also important for the San Diego County Bar Association to give back to the San Diego community, and the Community Leadership team is committed to organizing public service activities. NLF community service events currently include the School Supplies Drive in partnership with Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) San Diego, but we are constantly identifying new ways to give back to our community. NLF partners with the SDCBA Community Service Committee on community service projects and events, and the Subcommittee Chair serves as the NLF’s liaison to the Community Service Committee of the SDCBA.

For the Record

Subcommittee Chair: Phillip Simpler (

For The Record (FTR) is the SDCBA's award-winning e-publication for new lawyers. It is a platform to deliver content that is relevant to the practice of law, news, events and opportunities to engage with colleagues and the legal profession. FTR reports on what the NLF is accomplishing in the community, provides education on both legal and non-legal issues relevant to new lawyers, profiles members, and introduces opportunities to get involved in the NLF in such areas as networking, diversity outreach, law student outreach, continuing legal education, communication and mentorship. The FTR Subcommittee is responsible for developing and editing FTR content, managing contributors and distributing the monthly issue of FTR.


Subcommittee Chair: Mike Finstad

Understanding and using technology is a necessary skill for new lawyers, and the intersection of law and technology is an area of focus for the SDCBA in 2018. The NLF Executive Committee supports the SDCBA’s effort to educate all SDCBA members on integrating digital solutions into the practice of law. The Technology Subcommittee will help identify the technological needs of new lawyers, develop creative ways to engage membership using technology, and educate members about various technologies that complement the practice of law. In addition, the Technology Subcommittee will provide support to the NLF Executive Committee on social media engagement, For the Record content and design, and the use of various tools and apps to increase productivity.

Individuals who wish join a subcommittee are asked to submit a brief letter or email to the Community Leadership Chair, Mellania Safarian (, that includes the following:

  1. Current contact information;
  2. Confirmation of NLF and SDCBA membership status; and
  3. Scheduling availability and limitations.

Although not required, individuals may also include a brief explanation of:

  • A desired subcommittee assignment;
  • Why they would like to join NLF leadership;
  • Desired level of involvement; or
  • Whether the individual would like to be considered for other leadership opportunities.

Feel free to reach out to any member of the NLF Executive Committee to learn more about how you can get involved.